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Idaho mom puts spin on 'Elf on the Shelf' with adorable baby pictures

My sweet tooth hasn’t come in yet, but I can tell it’s getting close.

My sweet tooth hasn’t come in yet, but I can tell it’s getting close. (Courtesy of Ashlie Barton)


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ST. ANTHONY, Idaho — What started out as a "funny idea" now has a local mom and baby attracting attention from family, friends and strangers this holiday season.

Ashlie Barton is the mother of 8-month-old Huxon Barton. During the summer, Ashlie's mom gave her the idea to do "Elf on the Shelf" with Huxon. Instead of the traditional Elf on the Shelf — where a small elf is moved around a family's home with the goal of encouraging good behavior from children leading up to Christmas — Ashlie decided to dress Huxon up as an elf.

Ashlie takes creative pictures of Huxon in his elf outfit and comes up with unique captions to go with them. She then posts a picture every day in December on her Facebook and Instagram accounts.

"When November came around, I got out some markers and wrote out a big list of (picture) ideas. I actually have too many ideas and not enough days to use them," Ashlie told EastIdahoNews.com. "It's gotten more fun the longer we've done it."

Ashlie said her favorite picture so far is of a toothless Huxon eating spaghetti topped with candy next to a syrup bottle with a straw in it. The caption reads, "My sweet tooth hasn't come in yet, but I can tell it's getting close."

Another one she loves is a photo of Huxon and their dog. The dog is dressed up as a reindeer and has a lasso around him that Huxon is holding. The caption said, "Don't worry Santa, I caught the lost reindeer."

"He makes the best perfect-fitting facial expressions," Ashlie said about Huxon's pictures. "I do have to admit, he plays along pretty well. I sit him down and try to distract him before he crawls away."

Don’t worry Santa, I caught the lost reindeer.
Don’t worry Santa, I caught the lost reindeer. (Photo: Courtesy of Ashlie Barton)

She said she's had people tell her she needs to do these types of pictures every year with Huxon until he turns 18. Although she's not sure he'll want to do this when he's older, right now, she's enjoying using her love for arts and crafts to create memories with her son.

"I'm at least going to make some type of flip book or advent calendar with the pictures so we can reminisce over them every year," she said.

Ashlie, who made several of the props for the pictures, admits the pictures are more work than she thought. She estimates she's put around 40 hours into all of it. But what she also wasn't planning on was the influence the pictures would have on other people.

"A lady has been battling cancer and commented on them and said this has made her Christmas and she looks forward to seeing the posts every day," Ashlie recalled. "As cheesy as it sounds, I feel like I'm bringing joy and Christmas cheer to others this holiday season. We're having fun with it."

To see more of Huxon's Elf on the Shelf pictures, visit Ashlie's Facebook or Instagram.

I’d join you in your Christmas celebrations but I can’t because I’ve got snowman nose rejection duty.
I’d join you in your Christmas celebrations but I can’t because I’ve got snowman nose rejection duty. (Photo: Courtesy of Ashlie Barton)
Dreaming of summer.
Dreaming of summer. (Photo: Courtesy of Ashlie Barton)
Mommy caught me under the mistletoe.
Mommy caught me under the mistletoe. (Photo: Courtesy of Ashlie Barton)

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Brittni Johnson

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